Sunday, October 18, 2009

Madini Ambergris

Madini perfume essences aren't very famous outside the perfume-nut circles, but have quite a following among those who tried them. The oils are made in Morocco, supposedly by using traditional methods. The ones I've tried definitely have a different, faraway feel to them. They are exotic, vibrant and rich. Wearing them takes you places and makes you wonder what's wrong with most of today's perfumes that don't smell like this.

Ambergris can be a shock to one's system. The first impression is of something very strong, sweet and somewhat smoky. It feels more like an amber accord on steroids, very different than many wimpy mainstream ambers that are mostly sweet nothings. You realize this is what amber is supposed to be like, even if it doesn't actually smell like natural ambergris (the stuff that comes out of whales and is no longer allowed in perfumery). I was lucky enough to smell a piece of the real thing last year and it's otherworldly. Neither Madini Ambergris nor any other scent I've tried come close, but there are aspects of the natural gray amber that appear here and there.

In Madini's Ambergris there is a salty, briny stage that tampers the thick molasses-like syrup. I find that high quality ambers that have this facet can sometimes smell like olives, in a nice way. It usually leads to a subtle animalic base, which I adore. Ambargris does exactly that, and the divine drydown lasts forever, even when using the tiniest drop, which is usually all that's needed. I might have mentioned above that this is very strong stuff...

Madini oils are available online from, which is how I purchased my bottles. They ship worldwide, including Australia. The prices would make one weep with joy. A 3 ml bottle costs $15, and a 6 ml (which only sounds tiny. With these oils this is a lifetime supply) for $25. There are also sample packs (5 samples, $10).

Photo of a Lebanese belly dancer by James Burke, 1959 from


  1. Oh, something new and interesting! The only problem is they do not ship to Croatia... :( And i couldn't find an email address to ask them if it would be possible.

  2. Wow, I gotta try this stuff - I have really liked everything else I have tried in their line, this sounds fabulous.

  3. Ines, I think there's a phone number for international inquiries posted on the website. It's worth trying.

  4. Donna, it is fabulous and I think you'd enjoy it. I need to order their various musks and decide on a favorite.


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